The Attorney General at the Federal Court of Justice

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The Attorney General
at the Federal Court of Justice

Federal eagle of the German federal organs
State level Federation
Supervisory authority Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection
founding 1950
Headquarters Karlsruhe , GermanyGermanyGermany 
Authority management Peter Frank
Servants 300
Budget volume 66.94 million euros (target 2021)
Web presence
Seat of the Attorney General at the Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe

The attorney general at the Federal (abbreviation GBA ) is in the Federal Republic of Germany , the prosecutor of the Federal and performs tasks in addition to the prosecution of the countries true. The authority headed by the Federal Prosecutor General bears the same name; in specialist literature and in everyday language it is also referred to as the Federal Prosecutor's Office . Peter Frank has been the head of the authority since 2015 .

A Deputy Federal Prosecutor General and several Federal Prosecutors at the Federal Court of Justice , senior public prosecutors at the Federal Court of Justice and public prosecutors at the Federal Court of Justice are assigned to him. It has around 300 employees, around 110 of whom are permanently active as federal prosecutors, senior public prosecutors and public prosecutors at the Federal Court of Justice. In addition, 50 temporarily seconded public prosecutors or judges from the federal states support the GBA.

The Federal Prosecutor General is a political official . He should share the criminal and security policy views and goals of the current federal government and can be put into temporary retirement at any time . He belongs to the executive branch and is subject to the supervision of the Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV).

The Federal Public Prosecutor General represents the indictment in all criminal proceedings that come before the Federal Court of Justice . He also has special responsibility for a number of state security offenses that are directed against the federal government or in which the alleged perpetrators act across borders. In addition, he has sole responsibility for the prosecution of crimes under international criminal law .

History and seat

The authority was established in 1950; their predecessor authority was the Oberreichsanwaltschaft . The Federal Prosecutor's Office has its headquarters at the Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe , where it was housed until 1998. Since then, it has had its own building on Brauerstraße in Karlsruhe's south-west town , in the immediate vicinity of the Center for Art and Media . The design comes from Oswald Mathias Ungers .

Another office is located in Leipzig at the seat of the 5th criminal division of the Federal Court of Justice . Originally, the 5th Criminal Senate and the associated department of the authority were based in Berlin. The Berlin office should include take into account the legal opinion of the Western Allies - which is always contested by the West German side - that West Berlin is not an integral part of the Federal Republic of Germany. The change of the 5th criminal senate and the associated department of the authority from Berlin to Leipzig took place as "compensation" for the relocation of (parts of) the federal government from Bonn to Berlin. The change also refers to the historic seat of the Imperial Court in Leipzig.

Until the establishment of the Federal Office of Justice on January 1, 2007, the authority also had an office in Bonn that kept the federal central register and other registers (education register, central trade register and central public prosecutor's procedural register) and was responsible for performing certain tasks in international family law. These tasks are now carried out by the Federal Office.

Areas of responsibility

The Federal Public Prosecutor General is not the superior authority of the state prosecutor's offices, but has his own, defined areas of responsibility. In his function as a prosecutor in proceedings before the Federal Court of Justice and as an investigative authority in certain - legally regulated - cases of criminal state protection, he stands alongside the state public prosecutor's offices.

Essentially, he has the following areas of responsibility:

The performance of its tasks as an investigative authority is initially determined by the principle of legality , which is broken by the principle of opportunity in legally regulated cases, in the case of small and medium-sized crime (as well as to avert dangers to the state and in active repentance) . The GBA is bound by instructions from its superior authority, the Federal Ministry of Justice . The principle of legality applies (only) to its instructions. So they have to be lawful and not contradict the law out of opportunity.

Evocative jurisdiction

The Federal Public Prosecutor's right of evocation is regulated in Section 120 (2) of the GVG. There, the conditions are described under which the Federal Public Prosecutor takes on the prosecution of certain offenses endangering the state (so-called marked state security offenses ). The regulation of § 120 Abs. 2 GVG provides for three groups of cases for taking over the investigation. The Federal Prosecutor General is responsible if

  • he in certain state security offenses that do not fall under his original responsibility, such as B. the formation of a criminal organization that affirms the special importance of the case,
  • certain serious crimes are related to a foreign terrorist organization or
  • certain serious crimes, such as B. murder , manslaughter , hostage-taking , serious arson are determined and suitable according to the circumstances to impair the external or internal security of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Federal Public Prosecutor affirms the special significance of the case. An impairment of the internal security of the Federal Republic of Germany within the meaning of Section 120 (2) sentence 1 no.3a GVG can generally only be assumed if the specific act can affect the internal structure of the state as a whole or is contrary to its constitutional principles according to the respective circumstances directs. These constitutional principles include the exclusion of any form of violence or arbitrary rule against minorities ( right-wing extremism ).

The evocation case represents a “flexible” jurisdiction. If the requirements of Section 120 (2) GVG are met, the Federal Prosecutor General has to take charge of the proceedings. The takeover is mandatory; it is subject to review by the courts. In the investigation , the investigating judge of the Federal Court of Justice exercises control if decisions are to be made on measures that are subject to judicial reservation (arrest warrant, search, seizure, telephone surveillance). After the indictment has been brought, the examination of jurisdiction is transferred to the Higher Regional Court . When the main proceedings are opened, the Higher Regional Court refers the matter to the Regional Court or the District Court if it is of the opinion that the Federal Public Prosecutor General does not have jurisdiction. In the appeal proceedings, the Federal Court of Justice ex officio examines whether the Higher Regional Court has admitted the prosecutor general's indictment to the main hearing without any legal errors. The examination of the jurisdiction of the Higher Regional Court does not primarily serve to protect the individual rights of the accused, namely his fundamental right to the legal judge ( Article 101.1 sentence 2 of the Basic Law ), but rather to preserve the objective order of competencies of the Basic Law. Because when a matter is assigned to the federal judiciary, not only an investigative authority ( Section 142a (1) sentence 1 GVG) and a federal court (Section 120 (1) and (2) GVG and Section 6 StPO ) become responsible for criminal prosecution, but rather go also the execution of sentences ( § 451 Abs. 1 StPO, § 4c StVollstrO ) and the right of grace ( § 452 sentence 1 StPO, Art. 60 Abs. 2 GG) to the federal government.

Other tasks

The Federal Prosecutor General at the Federal Court of Justice is also an “attorney” for the federal government in the remit of the Federal Ministry of Justice . Representation in administrative and judicial proceedings that concern the Federal Court of Justice, the Federal Administrative Court, the Federal Fiscal Court and the Federal Disciplinary Court, or the Federal Prosecutor's Office itself is delegated to him. The Federal Ministry of Justice oversees the Federal Prosecutor's Office and the Federal Prosecutor General.

Selection and appointment

According to § 149 GVG, the Federal Minister of Justice, with the consent of the Federal Council, submits a nomination proposal for the office of Federal Public Prosecutor and Federal Prosecutor to the Federal President . The Federal Prosecutor General is a political civil servant according to Section 54 of the Federal Civil Service Act . As a political official bound by instructions, he has to agree with the political goals of the federal government.

List of federal attorneys general

Peter Frank (Jurist) Harald Range Monika Harms Kay Nehm Alexander von Stahl Kurt Rebmann Siegfried Buback Ludwig Martin Wolfgang Fränkel Max Güde Carlo Wiechmann
No. Surname Beginning of the term of office Term expires
1 Carlo Wiechmann 1 (1886-1967) October 7, 1950 March 31, 1956
2 Max Güde (1902–1984), CDU April 1, 1956 October 26, 1961
3 Wolfgang Fränkel (1905-2010) March 23, 1962 July 24, 1962
4th Ludwig Martin (1909-2010) April 7, 1963 April 30, 1974
5 Siegfried Buback (1920–1977) May 31, 1974 April 7, 1977 2
6th Kurt Rebmann (1924-2005) July 1, 1977 May 31, 1990
7th Alexander von Stahl (* 1938), FDP June 1, 1990 July 6, 1993
8th Kay Nehm (* 1941), non-party February 7, 1994 May 31, 2006
9 Monika Harms (* 1946), CDU June 1, 2006 September 30, 2011
10 Harald Range (1948-2018), FDP November 17, 2011 September 2015
11 Peter Frank (* 1968) 5th October 2015 officiating
1 Official title of Federal Public Prosecutor
2 Buback was murdered on April 7, 1977.

See also


  • Gunnar Formann: The Attorney General at the Federal Court of Justice. Competencies and organization of the federal prosecutor's office between the state and the separation of powers. Kovac, 2004.
  • Ludwig Martin : The Federal Prosecutor's Office at the Federal Court of Justice . In: Roderich Glanzmann (ed.): Gift of honor for Bruno Heusinger . CH Beck'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Munich 1968, pp. 85-100.

Web links

  • Official website of the Federal Public Prosecutor at the Federal Court of Justice

Individual evidence

  1. The Federal Prosecutor General: About us . Retrieved September 12, 2020.
  2. Budget Act 2021 . Retrieved January 03, 2021
  3. ↑ List of Abbreviations. (xlsx; 49 kB) Abbreviations for the constitutional organs, the highest federal authorities and the highest federal courts. Federal Office of Administration , June 2020, accessed on July 22, 2020 .
  4. Section 142 of the Courts Constitution Act (GVG)
  5. ^ For example: Werner Beulke: Criminal Procedure Law. 12th edition, 2012, § 5 II marginal number 80 (p. 57).
    Ulrich Franke in Löwe-Rosenberg: The Criminal Procedure Code and the Courts Constitution Act. 26th edition, 2012, § 142 GVG, Rn 18
    Martin: The Federal Prosecutor's Office at the Federal Court of Justice. 1968.
    Ulrich Eisenberg: Fundamental first-instance non-jurisdiction of the federal prosecutor's office and higher regional courts in juvenile criminal proceedings (§ 120 GVG, § 102 JGG). 1996.
    Armin Schoreit: First instance jurisdiction of the Federal Prosecutor's Office and the Higher Regional Courts
    in criminal proceedings against young people and adolescents according to §§ 120, 142a GVG, § 102 JGG. In: New Journal for Criminal Law 1997, pp. 69 ff.
  6. ↑ Federal Prosecutor General Dr. Peter Frank . The Federal Prosecutor General at the Federal Court of Justice, accessed on April 14, 2017.
  7. The Federal Prosecutor General - About us. Retrieved September 12, 2020 .
  8. Federal Prosecutor's Office in the Stadtlexikon of the Karlsruhe City Archives, accessed on November 7, 2016.
  9. ^ The Federal Prosecutor General at the Federal Court of Justice - tasks and organization
  10. GBA website with evidence
  11. Hans Hugo Klein: "Doubly dependent: The Federal Attorney General" in FAZ of August 20, 2015, p. 6
  12. a b BGH judgment of December 22, 2000 , Az. 3 StR 378/00 ( press release No. 98/00 of December 22, 2000 )

Coordinates: 49 ° 0 ′ 5.1 ″  N , 8 ° 23 ′ 7.1 ″  E